Friday, November 13, 2009

Cry Babies

Beatrice "Bea" Lovella Lowe Matheson was born in 1879 to Joseph Lowe and Mary Cave. She married Roderick Garnet Matheson around 1906-1907, and three children were born of this union: Mabel (Mary) Katherine in 1908, Roderick Joseph in 1910, and Edwin Henry (or vice versa, can't remember the order of his name) in 1912.
I have very vague memories of my great grandma, including vague memories of her funeral, in February of 1966, when I was just a bit past six years old.
Grandpa remembered coming home from school with the scent of these Cry Baby cookies in the air. These had been his favorite cookies as a child.

Cry Baby Cookies

1 cup shortening^
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup black strap molasses
1 tsp. baking soda, dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
5 cups flour (unbleached)

*Original version: Mix well. Drop by Tbls. on greased tins and bake in a quick oven.

**My version: Cream shortening with sugar; beat in egg and molasses, blend well. Alternately add soda water and flour, beginning and ending with flour so batter does not curdle. Drop by Tbls. onto greased cookie tins and bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

*Tips: These could easily be dressed up by sprinkling sugar over the tops prior to baking. You could also make these a ginger spice cookie by adding a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, and a 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. These could also be less strong by using a lighter molasses. This recipe can also be easily halved, but use the egg and don't try to halve this.

^To make this more heart healthy replace the shortening with lard or palm oil shortening.

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